Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 20 April 2024 7.59 AM IST

Former Chelsea star Eden Hazard announces retirement from football


LA LOUVIERE: Ex-Chelsea and Real Madrid winger Eden Hazard announced his retirement from football. The Belgian has been without a club since leaving Madrid after his contract was terminated in June.

In a post announcing his retirement on Instagram, Hazard wrote, "You must listen to yourself and say stop at the right time. After 16 years and more than 700 matches played, I have decided to end my career as a professional footballer. I was able to realise my dream, I have played and had fun on many pitches around the world.

"During my career, I was lucky to meet great managers, coaches, and teammates - thank you to everyone for these great times, I will miss you all. I also want to thank the clubs I have played for: LOSC, Chelsea, and Real Madrid; and thank the RBFA for my Belgian Selection, he added.

"A special thank you to my family, my friends, my advisors, and the people who have been close to me in good times and bad. Finally, a huge thank you to you, my fans, who have followed me for all these years and for your encouragement everywhere I have played. Now is the time to enjoy my loved ones and have new experiences. See you off the field soon my friends," he concluded.

Hazard was one of the best players in the world during his spell with Chelsea but had a disappointing four-year spell at Madrid. The Belgian won two titles with the Blues and scoried 110 goals in 352 appearances.

After joining Real Madrid in 2019, Hazard won the Champions League, a Club World Cup, a European Super Cup, two La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, and two Spanish Super Cups. Despite the silverware, his time at the Spanish capital is widely considered disappointing as he scored just 7 goals in 76 appearances in all competitions.

Hazard is one of only four players– alongside Thierry Henry, Matt Le Tissier, and Eric Cantona in Premier League history to score 15+ goals and provide 15+ assists in a single season.

After making his international debut against Luxembourg in 2008, Hazard scored 33 goals and bagged 126 Belgium caps. He featured at three World Cups and two European Championships, as well as captaining the team 56 times.

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